Relevance Rules in PPC

Three Ways To Make Your PPC Campaign More Relevant – And Effective

PPC 101 Chalkboard
How to improve relevance in your PPC campaigns.

Search works because of relevance. Searchers return to the engines because their questions are answered with the engine’s relevant results.

If the searcher agrees with the answer, the engine is rewarded by trust and returning visits. If the engine fails to provide relevant results, then searchers find another place to search. The engine loses a customer and the searcher goes to Google.

That’s the way it works for a search engine customer. It’s no different for your customers.

To succeed in PPC long-term, you must provide relevant results for any given keyword you’re bidding on. If you can’t give searchers what they’re looking for, bad things happen. Your click thru rate (CTR) suffers, your conversion rates languish, and your kids skip meals. Provide searchers with the information they’re looking for and you’re rewarded with clicks, conversions, and healthy kids. It’s that important.

What is Relevance in PPC?

Relevance in PPC is giving the searcher what they expect to find. When a searcher types a query into a search engine, you have three jobs as a relevance-minded search marketer.

1) Match keyword with a relevant ad.

2) Send visitors to a relevant landing page.

3) Move the visitor into a relevant conversion funnel.

Match Keyword With A Relevant Ad

The best way to match the keyword is to build tight ad groups. The fewer the keywords the better. That way you send keyword traffic to the most relevant ad copy possible.

I worked with one client who had one keyword per ad group. Yes, you read that right – one keyword in each ad group. As tedious as his account was to manage, his CTRs were some of the highest I’d seen anywhere. Ads were built for individual keywords and he was rewarded with more visitors per impression than any of his competitors. Relevant ads work when there are few keywords in your targeted ad groups.

Send Visitors to a Relevant Landing Page

One of the biggest mistakes that PPC marketers make is sending traffic to the wrong landing page. Either they make the age-old mistake of inputting their home page in a destination URL field, or they simply send traffic to a non-relevant page. If you want your traffic to convert, you must post a welcome sign. That welcome sign is a relevant landing page. Preferably your landing page will include the searchers search query in the headline of the landing page – especially for the important keywords.

For instance, if the searcher typed in “blue gym shorts”, the optimal landing page for your ad should say something like “Looking for Blue Gym Shorts?”. It’s not always possible to get that granular on every ad group, but whenever possible you should send PPC traffic to the most relevant landing page. Relevant landing pages deliver fewer bounces and more conversions.

Move Visitor Into a Relevant Conversion Funnel

This third step may not seem to fit the above pattern. But remember, your goal as a PPC marketer is to NOT have skinny kids. That’s why you should evaluate your keyword set to make sure it matches the overall goal of your website. (Read: You need relevant (ah, hem – converting) keywords.) If you’re bidding on terms that don’t convert, you need to reevaluate your strategy. You may need to pause keywords to prevent further wasted spend or just bid down on those terms. Either way, non-converting keywords must be addressed. Those keywords may not be relevant for your PPC purposes.

Bottom line: relevance rules in PPC. Match the keyword to your ad, match the landing page with the keyword, and finally match the keyword to your conversion funnel. That way your kids won’t ever complain about Ramen Week again.